China News Service, Shanghai, March 2 (Reporter Bian Liqun) On one side is the defending champion Shanghai Haigang at home, and on the other side are the three towns of Wuhan, the 2022 Chinese Super League champions.

In the battle between champions and champions, the new season of the Chinese Super League officially kicked off on the evening of March 1st.

  With Wu Lei's brace and Wang Shenchao's header, Shanghai Haigang, which was a bit slow in the game, came back to beat Wuhan Town 3:1 and got a good start to the new season.

  In the other two games on the first match day, Shandong Taishan defeated Changchun Yatai 4:2, and the "promoted team" Qingdao West Coast drew 1:1 with the Henan team.

  As a bystander, I have to lament that after the long winter break, such a lively game day has indeed been a long time coming.

  Photo by reporter Bian Liqun of the opening ceremony of the new season of the Chinese Super League

more popular

  Judging from the first match day, the Chinese Super League is still hot in the new season.

There were 21,713 fans watching the Shanghai Haigang home game, which basically reached the upper limit of the audience limit.

Even if the kick-off is at 6 o'clock in the evening on a weekday, the number of spectators at Shandong Taishan's home court still reaches 20,627.

  Among the clubs competing on the weekend, Chengdu Chengdu Chengdu’s home game tickets were sold out as soon as they went on sale on the evening of February 29. Their previous annual tickets also disappeared within seconds after they went on sale.

  Thanks to the return to Huanglong Stadium, the Zhejiang team sold more than 10,000 tickets for the first round of the game in less than one day, which is much better than last season's ticket sales.

  According to official data from the Chinese Super League, the average number of live viewers per game last season was 19,900, with a total of 112 million live views and 270 million on-demand views, ranking first in Asia.

Judging from the current ticketing situation of each team, the Chinese Super League will continue to be popular in the new season.

  The opening ceremony venue of the Chinese Super League - Pudong Football Stadium.

Photo by reporter Bian Liqun

more intense

  Judging from the first three games played on the evening of the 1st, a significant change in the new season of the Chinese Super League is to encourage "extremely long stoppage time". The referee will accurately record the lost time in the treatment of player injuries, replacement of players, VAR intervention and other aspects.

This is also in line with the stoppage time method currently used in international competitions.

  The first half of the match between Shandong Taishan and Changchun Yatai lasted 7 minutes. The second half of the match between Qingdao West Coast and Henan team lasted 9 minutes. The final stoppage time was 12 minutes.

  In the match between Shanghai Haigang and Wuhan Three Towns where the reporter was located, there was a lot of interruption time due to player injuries, and the stoppage time in the first half was as long as 10 minutes.

During stoppage time, the two sides played many exciting offensive and defensive rounds, which was much more intense than most of the first half.

With the blessing of the British-style Pudong Football Stadium, many fans even felt as if they were watching a Premier League game.

  Entrance ceremony of Shanghai Seaport and Wuhan Three Towns.

Photo by reporter Bian Liqun

More expectations

  Before the start of the new season, football legend Lang Xiaonong, known as the "Father of the Chinese Super League," once sent an affectionate message: "I hope that the Chinese Super League in the new season can truly rise from the ashes and open up a new future for Chinese football."

  In the new season, the restarted Chinese Super League does carry a lot of expectations. The Chinese Super League must also be worthy of the persistence and love from the fans at this moment.

  The day before the opening of the season, Yang Xu, vice chairman of the Chinese Football Association, said that in the new season, we will resolutely crack down on football corruption and fake gambling, and related prevention and punishment work will be the top priority this year.

  In addition, eight new referee management regulations including promotion, relegation and blacklist systems will also make the Chinese Super League more upright and allow teams to compete in a fairer environment.

  It is hoped that the Chinese Super League will be reborn from the ashes, bring more happiness to fans this season, and lay a more solid foundation for the development of Chinese football.